A quantum solution to the arrow-of-time dilemma

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Maccone, Lorenzo
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Abstract
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The arrow of time dilemma: the laws of physics are invariant for time inversion, whereas the familiar phenomena we see everyday are not (i.e. entropy increases). I show that, within a quantum mechanical framework, all phenomena which leave a trail of information behind (and hence can be studied by physics) are those where entropy necessarily increases or remains constant. All phenomena where the entropy decreases must not leave any information of their having happened. This situation is completely indistinguishable from their not having happened at all. In the light of this observation, the second law of thermodynamics is reduced to a mere tautology: physics cannot study those processes where entropy has decreased, even if they were commonplace.
Comment: Contains slightly more material than the published version (the additional material is clearly labeled in the latex source). Because of PRL's title policy, the leading "A" was left out of the title in the published paper
Keywords
Quantum Physics, Nonlinear Sciences - Chaotic Dynamics
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